Failed Liberty

JR: That, of course brings up the question of Catholics. If I remember correctly, they first come up seriously in your book with reference to the San Patricio brigade in the Mexican War, and as victims of “liberty”. Why are such historical experiences as those of the San Patrizios so unknown to American Catholics? Do they have two conflicting religious affiliations? Are they worshipers of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob on the one hand and the God of Liberty on the other? Or do they place more faith in the Founding Fathers than the Church Fathers?

CF: Pierre Manent has put it best: In America, as in every Western polity, we are expected to be “atheists under the one God, the God in whom we believe.” This is the intolerable paradox that the partisans of Liberty have foisted upon us—and with spectacular success. They have hypnotized an entire civilization, which need only awaken from its trance in order to realize the ridiculousness of its situation.

JR: Modern conservatives are always talking about getting back to the roots and the Original Intent of the Founding Fathers. It is clear from your book that that Original Intent serves an anti-Catholic and secularizing cause. Does that mean that modern conservatives are anti-Catholic secularists? Or do they simply refuse to admit that 1+1=2?

CF: I would say that in principle they are anti-Catholic secularists, while emotionally they would deny the charge and view anti-Catholicism with horror or at least disapproval. And yes, they refuse to admit that 1 plus 1 makes two. Like the libertarians, they never cease to denounce the excesses of the very State arising from the Liberty they never cease to praise.

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